A Cross-Continental Study on Children's Drawings of Football Players: Implications for Understanding Key Issues and Controversies in Human Figure Drawings

Bahman Baluch, Linda J. Duffy, Rokhsareh Badami, Elisangela C. Ap Pereira

Abstract


Professionals examine various aspects of girls’ and boys’ drawings as a way of understanding their intelligence, personality and emotional state. However, the extent to which such measures could be universally generalised or attributed to a specific cultural norm is still a debatable issue. In the present study five key features of children’s drawings namely: the size (height) of the drawings, profile or full face, figure in action or static, shaded or non-shaded and the nature of additional details were examined from a cross-cultural perspective, and by providing a topic (football) for which children’s drawing of a human figure could provide opportunities for the latter indices to manifest and flourish. Children from three countries; England, Iran and Brazil, representing three continents took part in this study. The participants were asked to draw a football player from their own country and from the other participating countries. The results showed that Brazilian children differ from Iranian and English children by drawing significantly smaller figures and putting more football action in the drawings. Shading of the figure drawn was more prevalent amongst English children. Such findings have implications for the interpretation of key aspects of children's drawings in educational, clinical and therapeutic settings and from a universal vs. culturally-specific viewpoint.

Keywords


children's drawings; football; cross-continental; human figures

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https://doi.org/10.5964/ejop.v13i3.1237